Reading in Music

Reading books is the main way for writers to know how to write. It’s pretty much the same for sight reading a piece of music, it makes the drummer a better musician and sight reader.

Unlike letters in books, a drummer reads notes on a page. The normal musical notes have different values on the drum stave. Musicians may now the acronym FACE for notes within the spaces on a stave, and the saying Every Good Boy Deserves Football to remember notes on the lines. But for drummers, the stave is ordered in terms of pitch.

From bottom to top, it goes: bass drum, floor tom, snare drum, low tom (“right tom”), high tom (“left tom”). The area at the top of the stave is preserved for cymbals, such as the hi-hat, crash and ride cymbals. It is then the combination of these notes on the stave that leads to funky rock grooves, and complex drum solos.

Basically, it’s a whole new style of reading that is really fun once you know how it works!

Liam

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